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Thread: Tea

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Detroit, MI

    Tea question

    I've been reading the forums for a bit now and I've noticed a few tea connoisseurs here. I had a quick question about buying online. I've noticed a couple places they list the date (month/year) that their "premium" teas have been harvested. Was wondering if this is just marketing tactic or what. The specific site I was looking at was

    Appreciate any info. Thank you


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Tampa, FL

    It is not a marketing gimic. These kinds of loose tea are more for the serious tea drinker who knows. I am learning but understand some of the concepts involved. My favs are Green Oolongs that have decent flavor but still light colored compared to the darker traditional Oolongs you see in the most stores and restaurants.

    The prices are not bad for a pound of tea which will make some serious large amounts of brewed tea.

    Thanks for the link.

    Be well,

    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    los angeles
    If you live near any major chinatown, you are better off buying from a tea shop tan online. Any oolong in the 100.00 price range is going to be medium-high quality (if the seller is honest).

    Also, ask the shop keepr or if online, send a description of the taste you want, they should know there tea's.

    Also, I dont belive there is any benifit to taking oolongs with ginseng, as froma TCM standpoint the tea affects the quality of ginsengs properties and they really shouldnt be taken together.

    Allthough, if you like the taste then that is your personal decision.

    High grade oolongs can get quite expensive, the most ive tried is about 350.00 per pound, but there are some ive seen up to 500.00lb

    again, better to get a sample if possible. If your going to pay around a hundred dollars a pound, you should get to try it out.

    Make sure you get a clay tea pot to dedicate to each style of tea you brew, so if you brew oolongs, use oolongs only in that pot, or jasmine, or green etc....the flavors will stay in the pot as the the oils from the tea vaporize into the steam and absorb into the pores of the pot.

    I just bought a low medium grade ( 70.00lb ) ti quan yin (a bit darker than green oolongs ) that was well worth it. I live close to Los Angels Chinatown so I can check out the tea up close. lucky me.

    good luck in your tea hunting.
    Bryan Davis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Detroit, MI
    Thank you for the tip Dale. From my (limited) understanding so far is teas like the green and white can only be picked (or should rather) at very specific times of the year. So I wasn't sure if they were just listing "common" knowledge or helpful info. Looking around some more, I see that you are indeed correct as I've found a few shops now that list havesting times. And not always can you go by what "should be".

    I'll check around town for shops. I was personally looking at the white tea (Silver Needle), but I would also like to find others for more of a "casual" type of consumption. Yes I saw one online shop, for 1/4 pound of Silver Needle the price is $671.00. Didn't know they could get that expensive!

    Thanks for pointing out about using different pots. I figured just use one pot, but what you said about the pots makes perfect sense. My cast iron pans are the same way

    Appreciate the help so far, definitely some useful information for me (and anyone else new to tea). Take care.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    san francisco
    check out
    i know one of the owners and the manager, both are my "siblings" in taijiquan. i have had their tea on several different occasions, and it rocks! now, generally i am a coffee snob, but if i do drink tea, it's theirs. they do internet orders, also (if you can't get to the bay area).
    Originally Posted by Lee Chiang Po
    You then walk backwards, forcing him off his feet and then drag him by the eye socket and lips. You can pull so hard that the lips tear away. You will never hear such screaming.

  6. #6
    red blossom - good bi lo chun and li shan.

    teance - i had one called four seasons oolong once at a friends house from them. It was really good. I dont think they carry it anymore though. lots of good pu-erh - a good gyokuro too. - great sencha and matcha

    i wish i could order more tea...

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  10. #10

    a new garden that will be opened around chinese new year.

    a must visit.

    Last edited by SPJ; 01-07-2008 at 07:25 PM.

  11. #11

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Brandon, FL
    That's pretty cool! I've been brewing loose-leaf for quite a bit... I might have to give one of those a whirl. If nothing else, it would make a heck of a party trick.
    "Prepare your mind..." "For a mind explosion!"
    -The Human Giant, Illusionators

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Kung Fu Cha

    I'm moving this to the TCM forum. I have my reasons why.

    Kung Fu tea ceremony promotes tranquility, harmony
    by Jaye Beeler | Grand Rapids Press Food Editor
    Wednesday November 26, 2008, 8:16 PM

    Press Photo/Emily ZoladzCurtis Smith, Grand Valley State University professor of Chinese language and literature, demonstrates a traditional southern Chinese tea ceremony recently.

    Curtis Smith, associate professor of Chinese language and literature at Grand Valley State University, cradles the unglazed clay teapot from the Yixing village in Jiangsu province near Shanghai -- a recent purchase from Taipai, Taiwan, this summer.

    Smith neatly arranges the 8-ounce tea pot and another tea pot pitcher on a bamboo tea tray with three itty-bitty tea cups. He readies a kettle with nearly boiling water and sets up his tea paraphernalia -- a set of beautiful bamboo tea spoons, a tea scoop, long-handled tweezers, a tea strainer and a tea poke to clear leaves from the spout. He keeps a cloth nearby for spills.

    "This is called Kung Fu tea. Kung Fu actually doesn't mean martial arts. It means 'hard work,' so Kung Fu tea is a more labor-intensive way to make tea," says Smith, who holds a doctorate from National Taiwan Normal University.

    Three kinds of Chinese tea are available at Asian markets and Chinatowns.

    Unfermented or green tea: Has green spiky leaves like an evergreen. When brewed, looks greenish in the cup. Has a purer, delicate aroma and is refreshingly stimulating.

    Fully fermented or black tea: Full-bodied, rich, reddish brew with warm, pungent qualities.

    Semi-fermented or wulong (oolong) tea: Has long, curly leaves rolled into tiny balls; varies in its green hues. When brewed, it unfolds to reveal two leaves and one shoot (bud). Its fragrance and flavor changes throughout the steeping process. Perfectly complements rich, flavorful food.

    A Kung Fu ceremony promotes harmonious tea-making and tea-drinking.

    "A Chinese tea ceremony is all about the experience of drinking good tea, so the flavor and the enjoyment of the tea is very important," Smith says.

    Appreciate the aroma

    Smith fills the clay teapot one-quarter full of wulong (oolong) tea, encouraging guests to smell the tea.

    "The first step is to rinse the tea leaves, which also warms the pot and removes a good portion of the caffeine," Smith says.

    Ten seconds later, Smith pours the tea over the clay tea pot pitcher and tea cups. With bamboo tweezers, he picks up the tea cups and pours those out over both tea pots.

    Again Smith fills the tea pot with nearly boiling water until it overflows, letting it steep for one minute. He pours the wulong tea from the Ali Mountain in southern Taiwan into the tea pot pitcher, then into each guest's sniffer nestled into a tea cup.

    "I'll show you how to drink it," he instructs. "Pick up the sniffer with your index finger and thumb on the upper rim, supporting the bottom with your ring finger. That way, you don't burn yourself. Dump the tea into the drinking cup and then smell the empty sniffer. As you smell it, the aroma will change as the cup cools. It will go from being a floral fragrance to spicy. As the fresh air clears the nose, the fragrance will go into a sweet fruity flavor."

    When drinking the tea, it is customary to slurp it to draw in air, then move it around in your mouth.

    "A high-quality wulong tea, particularly high-altitude variety, is good for up to 12 steeps, but the second brewing is the most delicious tea -- because it's smoother and more refined and fragrant."

    While studying in Taipai for a time in 1985, Smith discovered the spiritual, stimulating qualities of Chinese tea, not the stale black tea variety he grew up on.

    "I first tried green tea, and it was like nothing I had ever had before," Smith says. "I was hooked. I came to realize Chinese teas are like wines, with distinctive nuances."

    Like a Bordeaux produced in France is quite different from varieties grown in California or New Zealand, Chinese teas offer various characteristics determined by the growing region, hand-harvesting and fermenting/roasting process.

    First-hand experience

    This summer, Smith, who led 18 GVSU students on a study abroad program to National Taiwan Normal University, introduced his group to Chinese tea.

    "I had one student who wanted to have nothing to do with tea. Until our second day, when I took them to a tea house, and, from that moment on, he was crazy about tea," Smith says.

    "Good tea is hand-harvested. ... Pick wulong tea when it has two leaves and a shoot (bud), and that has to be done in the morning, then it's put into the sun to let the moisture evaporate."

    From there, the tea leaves are fermented before they are processed and rolled.

    "China is divided into two major areas -- North and South, and (they) have different cultures, languages, diets and personalities," Smith says. "This tea ceremony is southern style. In the North, where it is colder and more nomadic cultures live, they tend not to sit around all this time, spending so much time drinking tea like this. So they prepare tea by putting tea leaves directly into a big glass and pouring water over them."

    "Drinking Kung Fu tea is a leisure activity called 'old folks tea' because the whole process takes time."
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Curse you Gene!!!

    Now I want a nice cuppa! And my tea is all at home... and I'm at the office! With terrible, terrible red-rose tea bags!!!!! {cry}

    Simon McNeil

    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

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